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18-year-old student pilot dies after crashing small plane in Wauwatosa

Daniel Perelman
Posted at 10:58 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 22:23:48-04

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday that the 18-year-old student pilot who crashed a small plane into a Wauwatosa yard on Thursday has died.

The ME identified him as Daniel Perelman, 18 years old of Brookfield.

Daniel Perelman

At the scene of the crash, first responders removed Perelman from the small plane and brought him to the hospital in critical condition. He suffered from severe head trauma, among other injuries.

Daniel Perelman
Daniel Perelman

Perelman took off from Timmerman Airport, made one pass, landed, took off, and then radioed in that he was having engine failure and that he did not know what to do, the medical examiner stated.

This was not his first solo flight, according to the medical examiner.

Daniel Perelman
Daniel Perelman

The Chabad Jewish Center of Waukesha County released a statement following Perelman's death on Monday. It said in part:

"Daniel was full of energy and curiosity, a gentle soul, and beloved by all who knew him. He leaves behind his parents, sister, grandparents, aunts uncles, classmates, friends and all those who knew him and loved him. In the Jewish tradition, remembering a loved one or friend is not a passive endeavor. Instead, to truly remember is to incorporate a behavior, a positive trait or action into our lives, thereby memorializing the life and contributions of the one we loved."

Rabbi Levi Brook, Chabad of Waukesha, and Perelman's family, have established the Deeds for Daniel Memorial Drive. The drive encourages people to take on a positive deed of goodness and kindness.

According to Brookfield Academy, Perelman received multiple academic distinctions, including being named a National Merit Finalist, Presidential Scholar nominee, and earning a perfect ACT score. Brookfield Academy says he attended the school from first grade through his graduation in 2021.

Daniel Perelman
Daniel Perelman

“Daniel Perelman was an insatiable student," Dr. Dan Davis, head of the Upper School, said in a statement Monday. "He loved academic challenges and routinely took our most difficult courses and excelled. He was also well-liked, a true gentleman, courteous and caring in his interactions with others.”

WATCH: New video shows man trying to save downed pilot in Wauwatosa

Pilot in critical condition after small plane crashes in Wauwatosa

The Wauwatosa Fire Department first reported the plane crashed at 103rd and Courtland. Police confirmed Friday the pilot is a flying student.

Police Chief James MacGillis said during a press briefing that the single occupant was brought to the hospital with critical injuries. No other injuries were reported.

WATCH: Chief releases more details about the crash

Tosa police give updates on plane crash

Crews extricated the man from the wrecked plane and brought him to the hospital.

The chief said that the pilot was taking off from Timmerman Airport at Appleton and 91st before the plane crashed.

Photo of the crashed plane.

Wauwatosa police is the lead agency for the investigation, assisted by local agencies.

WATCH: This is the plane that crashed into the yard

Small plane crashes near 103rd and Courtland

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport officials tell us they are aware of a small private plane that made an "off airport landing" in that area. They add that nearby Timmerman Airport closed to arriving and departing aircraft. But the small airport has since reopened following an inspection of the airfield.

plane crash tosa

The Federal Aviation Administration reports the crashed small plane is aCessna 152registered to Spring City Aviation East in Oconomowoc. That is a flight school company.

Radio traffic between the pilot and Timmerman Airport reveal mechanical trouble prior to the crash. At about 2:55 p.m. the pilot radios the tower: “Reporting engine failure. It’s not working.”

There's some cross-talk followed by this from the pilot: “I don’t know what to do.”

WATCH: Video from the scene of the crash

Small plane crashes near 103rd and Courtland

The plane landed in Rashad Hicks' backyard as he was preparing to mow his lawn.

“My wife looked out the window and said ‘It’s a plane in the backyard.’ I kind of didn’t believe that. It was kind of far-fetched until I went outside and it was a plane in the backyard," he said.

Other residents saw people springing into action.

“I heard a plane, silence for a few seconds and a large thud," said Alex Ann Davis.

“They pulled the pilot out from under the aircraft, put him on a stretcher and took him away," Bob Dietlmeier added.

By 7:30 p.m., police say the area of 103rd and Courtland had reopened.


Editors note: An earlier version of this story stated this was the pilot's first solo flight. The medical examiner has since issued an update correcting that statement.
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